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High Resistance Meter

I don’t remember if this circuit worked properly. But a few were made and i might not have shown the modifications that were done to make it work. This was meant to be a portable, low cost, insulation tester for an electrician. If you try it out and debug it it may work well.

High Resistance Insulation Materials

A negative voltage is derived by shifting gnd with two diodes, i feel this did not work very well. Two pins of CD4028 pins are also used to boost the reference to get two extra ranges as 4051 has a 100E on resistance.

High Resistance Meter

The 555 clock makes 4029 counter count. But the clock can be clamped to gnd by a TL062 window comparator. The clock is frozen when the input value to comparator pin 5-2 is within a lower limit and upper limit “window” pin 3-6.

Insulation Tester

The 4029 counter BCD is decoded to decimal by 4028 which drives the LEDs, keep LED drive within 3mA or chip will be loaded. Use high efficiency extra-bright LEDs.

The 4029 BCD also controls a shunt resistor array with CMOS switches 4051. The voltage across shunt is a sample of leakage current. This is compared in the window comparator to freeze the Clock and LED display to give a reading of the leakage current or Insulation Resistance.

Musical Sound to Neon Light Flasher

Neon Light Flasher was made by me when i was young, it was even published in a magazine, i think it will work, it was used on a very old huge ornamental valve philips stereo system in the remote speakers.

Home Made Circuits

Recently i captured this circuit in eagle to publish online, it seems to have a small design error. It worked well for many years. The step-down transformer is used as a step-up here. The secondary winding was around 50mA so the resistance was protecting the 2N2222. (SL100 was used in the original one). C1 and R3 may need tweaking to get the desired adjustment range in R2.

Music Sound to light converter

The voltage across the speaker is fed to C1-Gnd, which blocks DC component. R1, R2, R3 form a threshold bias for T1. 2N2222 chops the 12V DC in tune with the music.

Basics of Electronics

The chopped DC current flowing in the 12V winding of TR1 is stepped up into AC pulses over 100V, this lights the Neon in flashes synchronizing in real-time with the beats. Known Issues – It does not perform well at low Bass like 20Hz.

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Battery Level LED Indicator

This LED Indicator uses a LM339, a quad comparator. LM339 can work on single or dual supplies, it has a open collector output that can drive 15mA, low power consumption. The circuit is an untested design but it should work.

Mains Voltage and Power Circuits – Similar circuits for Mains Voltage Monitoring.

There are many better circuits in the various circuit archives i have linked on the front page, you just have to look around. When you measure the open circuit voltage of a battery with a high impedance DMM (10M), the value may be a bit misleading. Apply a dummy load to bleed the battery a bit so that proper readings can be taken on Load. The load below is a 100 ohms wire-wound fusible ceramic resistor which will heat a bit when you test 12V batteries.
Battery Level LED Indicator

Theory of Operation.

R16 a 5W ceramic wire wound bleeder or dummy load. R15 is a part of an attenuator for obtaining ranges. D2 is a protection clamp diode. R10-D1 forms the 5V reference for comparators. Then an attenuator obtains 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 V steps for each comparator. This circuit is similar to Audio Level meter or VU meter circuit.

Comparators in Interface Circuits

The comparator compares the battery sample voltage to the fixed reference step. If ‘+’ pin is more positive than ‘-‘, or is ‘+’ is more dominant, then output goes floating ‘open collector’, so No LED light . But if ‘-‘ is more dominant the output transistor of comparator goes low impedance or saturates or turns ‘ON’. But only spec current can be switched, do not compare with electrical switch ‘ON’. Also on a dual supply 0V is more dominant or positive compared with -12V, even though it appears -12V is a big number. The direction of current is what decides, all measurements are relative.

Astable Multivibrator with 555 Timer

This is a demo of the popular 555 timer. you can try out the project on this page by a javascript simulation. Press the Red button below to turn on the circuit press it again to turn off. The 555 can source (LED2) or Sink (LED1) upto 200mA. It can even drive a small motor or lamp with diodes added to protect from inductive kickback.Vary Ra, Rb and Ct with the controls given and see the change of frequency, period and duty cycle.

This is a tutorial with calculator to help learn the application of 555 which is a very rare chip innovation. It is simple, versatile, flexible and programmable (by tweaking of pots).

Astable 555 Timer Flasher – Interactive demo

The 555 Astable oscillator gives a square wave output at pin 3, The output drives two LEDs, LED1 lights up when pin 3 is low and LED2 when pin 3 is high.

The 555 can source (LED2) or Sink (LED1) upto 200mA. It can even drive a small motor or lamp with diodes added to protect from inductive kickback. Vary Ra, Rb and Ct and see the change of frequency, period and duty cycle.

Astable Multivibrator with 555 Timer

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Passive volume control with Potentiometer

Volume control circuit for speaker 4 ohm or 8 ohm located in the another room far away. by using only passive components. This gives limited control and helps reduce volume when a conversation starts. The resistors are very low value.

Passive volume control

Passive volume control

A simple circuit you can build at home at low cost it uses just a rotary switch and wire wound resistors. Add more resistors and a rotary switch with more contacts for finer control.

More Hobby Ideas and Projects at Hobby DIY Garage

Guitar Speaker

An easy project to start DIY electronics is the Guitar Speaker. Make a good Acoustically friendly Wooden Box. Add a 20 Watt Audio Amplifier and a Large Speaker, There is a Power Supply too in this box. If you hear a Large Hum over the Strumming of the Guitar. You are in Business.

You should know that this is a limited design, it is used when the speaker is far away from audio amplifier. In the early days  audio amps were made of power transistors and signal transistors. (they came after  valves), No remote controls, Radio tuners, Spool Players and Turntables would be connected to these via a Preamplifier and Rotary Switches.

The Speakers in large wooden boxes would be kept at the far corners of the Hall, you could have a passive volume control in this with a Neon flickering indication of audio.  That circuit is here Music Sound to light converter.

Simple Digital Event Counter

The basic digital circuits are Flip Flop and Counter, both are here. This circuit can be cascaded to make even a 6 digit event counter, even a simple frequency counter can be made.

These are best done with microcontrollers today. Then what if you have to design your own microcontroller on a FPGA, so the basics have to be sound, hence you have to know what gates, flip flops and counters are.

Simple Digital Event Counter

see the seven segment display. Inc, Dec, and Set buttons are momentary acting and Clk Button is latching type. The Dip Switch in the also can be set.

a. – Set the DIP Switch as you like and then Press the Set button. The BCD value will be at the 4029 output, The Decimal value will be seen in the seven segment Display. Now try for different dip switch settings and see the BCD and Decimal output.

b. – Now Press The Inc and Dec pushbuttons. Set it to Increment up-count or Decrement which is down-count. This is a simple flip flop control.

c. – Now Click the Clk – clock or count button, the switch will latch, press it again to release. If you toggle it once the counter will get a single pulse and it will count it, see the BCD and decimal displays. Now you turn it on and leave it, the counter will keep counting one per second till you turn it off, the clock nand gate is wired to be an oscillator.

The decimal point LED of display is given to Carry Out pin of 4029 so observe this at 9 and 0 or transitions.

Add 104 CD, 0.1uF ceramic disc cap to all the ICs across the supply pins. Also add a 104 CD cap across Inc switch and one across the Set switch for power on default settings.

See a Tutor Digital up down BCD counter that will help you take the first step in digital electronics.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

This circuit is derived from a Siemens Application Note 1974. This circuit uses common components of today.

The circuit is here as it is of high educational value. I have not tested it. You can ‘simulate and test’ or ‘wire it up and try’ and let me know how it worked. The Circuit is also a simple analog to digital converter. You can use optos in place of LEDs.

Battery Level Indicator

T1 and T2 make a differential amplifier. T3, T4 and T5 driving the LEDs are comparators.  When input voltage is increased T1 is turned on which leads to more base current for T3 which Lights LED1. When input voltage is less T2 turns on as it gets a better base current from P3 which turns on LED2 via T4. When both LEDs are off T5 gets biased as no drop across R5 which lights the LED3 thru T5 hopefully.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

What you need to know is a small current Ib thru the base-emitter path in the direction of the emitter arrow will lead to a large Current Ic thru the emitter-collector path in direction of arrow. Ic = B * Ib where B – beta is the DC current gain, it could be 100-400

Fluid or Water Level with Reed Relays 

Beta is different in each transistor you buy and varies with the test conditions and even with temperature and age. The LED1 and LED2 will indicate above or below Limits set by P2 and P1. The Limit Threshold itself is set at P3 i think. LED3 will light when Hi LED and Lo LED both are off.

The applications of this circuit are FM tuning indicator, Stereo Balance Indicator (Wire T2 like T1 then we get two channel inputs) and battery level indicator.